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The reality of otologic foreign bodies

Author: 
Jones N. Nwosu, Demian I. Mgbafulu and Alexander O. Ohaneme
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Objectives: To determine the prevalence of aural foreign bodies, modes of presentations, types, removal process and associated complications in a sub-urban health facility. Patients and methods: This was a retrospective study conducted on consecutive patients presenting with suspected foreign body in the ear to the Otolaryngology (ENT) clinic of Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu over two years. The prevalence, mode of presentation, foreign body types, removal methods and complications were evaluated. Results: A total of one hundred and thirteen patients, males 56 (49.6%) and females 57 (50.4%) with ear foreign body were studied. The ages ranged from 1.5 to 65 years, with a mean age of 17.5 years. Children outnumbered adults with majority of the cases in the 1 – 5 years age group. The most frequent symptoms at presentation were ear fullness 32(24.5%) and 31(23.3%) were asymptomatic. Cotton bud ranked the highest foreign body (25.7%) recovered. Majority (50.4%) of the foreign bodies were lodged in the right ear. The foreign bodies were successfully removed in the clinic with out any complications. Conclusions: Aural foreign bodies were found more frequently in children. A variety of foreign bodies were recovered and they differed with age group and mirrored the activities of the aged group concerned. Complications can be avoided with timely and skilful intervention.

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